Scripture Reading: Psalm 72
Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
Uncircumcised were looked down on, not God’s people. Gentiles were wandering around, not knowing God or His promises, thus not Christ. Without God—atheos, atheists. Jews departed from God; Gentiles were ignorant. But now Gentiles can be united with God through Christ.
For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
He is our peace—Not only did He purchase peace, He is the ground of our peace with God. Middle wall—the law, represented by wall that separated court of Gentiles from Court of Jews. But also the wall that separated even jews from God.
Abolished—take away, destroy, render idle or void. The law was the enmity—hostility, opposition.
And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
Both Jews and Gentiles brought to God through Christ who removed Law. Afar off—Gentiles. Nigh—Jews. Both needed deliverance from Law to have peace with God. All members of Trinity.
Without the Law, there is no hindrance, no hostility between us and God. Now there is peace because of the Cross of Christ.
Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand.12 As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.13 For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh.
Religious people want to brag that they converted you. Helps if there is a physical definer of who’s in. If they insist on circumcision, they won’t get persecution because of the cross. Circumcision merely binds you to keep the whole covenant, which even they don’t do. You either glory in the flesh or glory in the cross of Christ.
--Religion glories in fleshly change, not spiritual change. Spiritual change is harder to identify and define.
But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.
16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.17 From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.18 Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.
Christianity is not about a minor change in the old flesh, but a brand new creation. This rule—glorying in the cross and dead to the world as a new creation. Israel of God—those who are blessed with Abraham by faith, not racial Israel, nor those who did circumcision.
Marks—brands. He belongs to Christ, the one he serves. Want to brag about damage done to the body? How about that?!